What to do if You’re the Victim of a Hit-and-Run
Between dealing with physical and property damages, mounting medical bills, and potentially decreased income due to injuries, the aftermath of a car accident can always be stressful. If you are the unfortunate victim of a hit-and-run accident, you may not know what to do next.
According to Oklahoma Title 47 (§47-10-103), anyone who hits another vehicle – whether occupied or not – and causes any damage to it has an obligation to stop immediately and to remain at the scene.
If someone is found guilty of failing to stop after hitting and damaging another vehicle, the offender will be convicted of a misdemeanor, punishable by up to $500, up to one year in county jail, or both. Additionally, the individual responsible will be liable for paying three times the amount of the actual value of damage to the vehicle. This money will be recoverable in a civil (not criminal) action.
But if you’ve been the victim of a hit-and-run accident, it’s extremely important that you take the following steps to ensure that you receive the best possible outcome.
1. Call 911
Immediately after being involved in a hit-and-run accident, it’s important that you call 911 and ask that the police come to the scene of the accident. You will want the officer to create an accident report since with important information such as witness statements. This can prove to be a valuable piece of evidence should you file a claim or pursue a lawsuit.
2. Seek Medical Treatment
Right after the accident, assess your injuries. If you are significantly injured and/or unable to get yourself to the hospital, you will want to request an ambulance when you dial 911.
Even if your injuries are not severe or if you have no immediately noticeable injuries, you should still seek medical treatment as soon as possible to ensure that there are no non-obvious injuries. Doing so will also create a medical record that can serve as evidence of both what the doctor said and the fact that you sought treatment.
3. Call Your Insurance Company
It’s important that you contact your insurance company after any accident. Most companies require that you report a crash within one to two days of it. As well as being mandatory, contacting your insurance company is important because sometimes the minimum amount of car insurance required by the state may not be enough to cover your damages. Therefore, if you have an uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance policy, reporting to your insurance company can help you recover the difference in damages.
4. Call a Qualified Car Accident Attorney
When you’ve been the victim of a hit-and-run accident, it can have serious and long-lasting impacts on your life. You may not know what to do, but when you consult with a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer, he or she can help you to best fight for what you deserve. In fact, studies show that accident victims represented by an attorney recover significantly more in damages than those who represent themselves.
Graves McLain Can Help.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, you should not have to pay for someone else’s mistakes. The attorneys at Graves McLain have substantial experience in representing individuals in auto vehicle accidents.
There is no charge for Graves McLain to review your case. If we represent you, we will handle your case on a contingency fee basis (calculated as a percentage of the recovery we obtain). Call an experienced Oklahoma personal injury attorney at Graves McLain at 918-359-6600 today. Trust our team. We’re here to help.
Graves McLain – Serious Lawyers for Serious Injuries.